LIVERPOOL’S libraries may still be closed but that isn’t stopping them from encouraging our youngest residents to pick up a book.
From tomorrow, Friday, 5 June, the city’s libraries will be backing the Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge which is going digital for 2020 and is aimed at children aged four-11.
Although usually taking place in the summer holidays to encourage children to keep reading during the long break, this year’s challenge has been brought forward to support children who are still being home schooled.
Families are invited to a virtual party on Friday, 5 June, to launch the challenge on the Summer Reading Challenge’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK/ – from 4-7pm.
The launch party’s schedule includes CBBC’s Sam & Mark, David Baddiel and Konnie Huq
To complete the Summer Reading Challenge children will set their own reading targets with six books being the suggested number to aim for. And youngsters needn’t worry if they’ve read everything at home – there are hundreds of books to borrow from Liverpool’s digital library. Visit www.readliverpool.co.uk/ to quickly sign up. Compared to May 2019, loans of children’s books from the digital library last month were ten times higher!
Children are being encouraged to keep track of what they’re reading by setting up a Reading Agency Passport account. Parents or guardians will need to confirm children’s online accounts.
This year’s challenge is led by the Silly Squad – a team of animals who love to go on adventures and get stuck in to all different kinds of funny books who have been designed by award-winning author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson.
The challenge runs until September and it is free to take part. Last year over 700,000 children got involved, and it has been running each year since 1999.
2020 is Liverpool’s Year of Reading and The Reading Agency supported the programme’s launch in January. Search #LiverpoolReads on social media and also join the Facebook group .
Said Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, employment and skills and the city’s lead for #LiverpoolReads: “The Summer Reading Challenge has now become a real tradition in our libraries and as always it has the full support of Liverpool and our incredible library team.
“There’s no reason despite the current challenges that it can’t be as successful as previous years. We know that our digital collection of books has seen a massive increase in borrowing and we’ve been adding plenty of new titles. It’s also great to hear that the Reading Agency has found that 45 per cent of young people have been reading more in lockdown.
“I encourage all our children to get their heads in a book, get online and log their six books – or more! – to complete the challenge.”
Hayley Butler, head of communications at the Reading Agency said: “We are excited to be going live with the digital Summer Reading Challenge this Friday.
“The Summer Reading Challenge which is delivered in partnership with public libraries, is an invaluable tool to help young people across the UK avoid the ‘dip’ and maintain their literacy skills over the summer ahead of the new school year.
“The Silly Squad theme is just what families need this summer. Children will be able to access the free digital platform to complete this year’s challenge with digital rewards and incentives and a whole host of silly reading recommendations – it will be a seriously silly summer!”